Task Management: Prioritizing To-Do Items

Over the years I’ve used several different systems for managing tasks. Some of them were PHP based. More recently I’ve had the pleasure in working with a system called Basecamp.

Basecamp is great for managing large projects that have many tasks. You can have a discussion about each task (similar to a forum). You can mark each task as completed when it is done. You also have the ability to include (or not include) the customer in the discussion. This is tremendously more valuable than email because you have a central location to access messages sent to or from customers (great for management).

Whichever system is used for project management, clear communication and organization among your team is necessary. Personally I still find a sheet of paper with my priority tasks the most useful (for myself), even when using a system like Basecamp. Crossing off an item from the list as I get them done is very satisfying. It also gives me a good picture in what is currently on my plate.

I’ve known programmers who have a hard time remembering to get things done. Even if you are busy, you need some kind of system for keeping track on what you need to do. Sometimes I get overwhelmed by how many things get onto my task list, but I then get motivated to get through things very quickly. If you have too much on your plate that you can’t get done, it is important to let your supervisor/boss know about it.

How do you keep track of your current priorities?

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2 thoughts on “Task Management: Prioritizing To-Do Items

  1. I think it depends what you are going for. I took a look at Remember the Milk (http://www.rememberthemilk.com/), and while good, it is way bloated for my needs. I then tried todotweet.com, which you can tweet tasks to from your twitter account, or the echofon plugin for Firefox. I liked this a lot, but I wanted to make changes more easily, and as soon as you checked something and refreshed, it would disappear. Not good because I wanted to see what I had already finished and accomplished for the week.

    I have finally settled on Paprika (https://getpaprika.com/). Stupid easy to use, online based so I can get it anywhere, can be shared it you want, and can create multiple projects. Basically your sheet of paper but online.

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